Undersound

Let me quote in toto “A Vast Confusion” by Lawrence Ferlinghetti whose birthday is today on March 24–the Feast Day of sad little Simonino of Trento, never seen again except through miracles and visions–and Lawrence is suddenly 96 and that is a helluva gloriously long time, nearly a century of words and sentences and cadences and rhymes that aren’t there but are, like here, listen:

Long long I lay in the sands

Sounds of trains in the surf
in subways of the sea
And an even greater undersound
of a vast confusion in the universe
a rumbling and a roaring
as of some enormous creature turning
under sea and earth
a billion sotto voices murmuring
a vast muttering
a swelling stuttering
in ocean’s speakers
world’s voice-box heard with ear to sand
a shocked echoing
a shocking shouting
of all life’s voices lost in night
And the tape of it
somehow running backwards now
through the Moog Synthesizer of time
Chaos unscrambled
back to the first
harmonies
And the first light

“Undersound”…I can dig that. Did you dig that? Undersound.

Hatlessly holding Howl, Lawrence Ferlinghetti in 1957

Hatlessly holding Howl, Lawrence Ferlinghetti in 1957

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